Let’s talk about Unified Data Governance (UDG)

By Jim Darrin

Unified Data Governance (also known as United Data Governance), or UDG, describes the process of consolidating disparate data sources to create a single data narrative across the myriad data stores within an organization.

Technology is at the heart of every modern company, and data management is more than a side effect of a business. Rather, data is an asset and a risk factor that increases in importance as businesses grow and move along the arc of their digital maturation.

According to McKinsey, only a small fraction of companies effectively leverage data-informed decision-making strategies, yet those that are making data-informed decisions have outperformed competitors by 85% in sales growth and by more than 25% in gross margins. McKinsey also reported that in 2015 corporations paid $59 billion for US regulatory infractions, $59 billion that those corporations could have used for other purposes. ​

Data management is more than a side effect of a business
Harnessing vast amounts of data is critical to glean insights and meet business goals.

Unified data governance is not just critical for large companies — in fact, the earlier you are on your technology journey, the better positioned your business is to establish best practices and infrastructure that can scale into the future.

A unified data governance strategy will make sure that a business and its people can develop and deliver trusted data to the right users at the right time and in the right format. Being able to manage a business’s critical data assets can unleash opportunity within the business, reduce regulatory risk, improve business insights, and eliminate manual processes.

Why are we excited about UDG? Unified data governance lines up with Valence’s engineering and innovation strategy capabilities in perfect alignment. Analytics and reporting are in our DNA, and business-focused innovation is what gets us out of bed every day.

United data governance can break down data silos, improve data quality, lower data management costs, increase access for users, and reduce compliance costs and risks ​

Therefore, we’ve released a new service offering, Valence Unified Data Governance. We are bringing businesses into the data unification process, and currently see the potential for Microsoft Azure Purview to be a uniquely scalable and stable unified data governance technology. Valence is a Microsoft Gold Partner, and our relationship with Microsoft made it a no brainer for Valence to be among the first to market with an offering based on Purview. You can read the press release about this new offering here.

Should you be thinking about UDG?

While every modern business needs to address its data and governance, organizations in regulated industries are particularly prime for a UDG strategy. In addition to the common issues of manual data management, inconsistent reporting results, and disparate data sources, regulated industries have the added risk of compliance failures. Organizations in regulated industries are also likely to have high data volume, diverse data sources, data silos, ownership issues, incomplete data documentation, and data source fidelity. Regulated industries like law firms, healthcare organizations, and state/local governments have the most to gain by adopting UDG sooner rather than later.

Here’s what our own Steven Fiore thinks about UDG: “I’ve got years of experience working in state and local governments, and I know first-hand that smart and hardworking public servants are faced with tight budgets and challenging manual data management processes. Unified data governance is desperately needed in these organizations, and I feel personally excited to help people to find a better way.”

Here are four features of UDG that we are excited about:

  1. Unified data governance helps businesses understand what their sensitive data is, where it lives, and how it is being used.
  2. UDG also helps organizations understand what is and isn’t protected, compliance risks, and what their need is for additional safeguards such as encryption.
  3. UDG with Purview allows us to aggregate multiple data sources and connect certain types of information like social security and credit card numbers or employee IDs. With UDG, businesses can identify these different types of information and associate them with their data sources.
  4. One feature of UDG that seems so simple but can also be a game changer is that it also allows you to understand where the source data is in a report.

We work with clients to address their data and reporting using an array of technologies and techniques — the first step is to understand your data landscape, and then to develop a data governance roadmap. With the roadmap in place, your business can rapidly implement the UDG solution — and then experience the acceleration and opportunity that is made possible with a modern technical solution engineered and designed to better manage your data at scale.

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